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Steven Caulker to Cardiff City Makes Sense for the Player and for Tottenham

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COMMENTARY | Sometimes, a team just can't keep every single one of its promising talents.

In a perfect Tottenham Hotspur world, the club would have kept Steven Caulker for the next decade, and the 21-year old defender would have waited patiently for first-team football before evolving into one of the best center backs in all the land.

That world, of course, does not exist, and neither does one where Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas was going to feature the thought-to-be future star ahead of the likes of Jan Vertonghen, Younes Kaboul and Michael Dawson as long as those players are fit and able to play Premier League and Europa League matches. Caulker making his exit from White Hart Lane now makes sense for both the player and the club, so long as Spurs finalize a deal and acquire his replacement.

We entered that magical part of the football calendar known as a "World Cup Year" this summer. Caulker, who featured for England in the UEFA Euro U-21 competition and for the senior side last fall, could have a real chance of participating in the world's biggest sporting event in 2014 depending on all that occurs from August to May. He needs and understandably wants substantial playing time, and Cardiff City will give him just that.

In the sale, Spurs get what has been reported to be a fee in the neighborhood of £9 million for who was, when all players at that position are 100 percent, the team's (maybe) third-best CB. A loan rather than an all-out sale makes sense at first thought, but then one has to remember that Kaboul is 27 years old and that Vertonghen turned 26 this past April. It's not a stretch to suggest that Caulker saw the writing on the wall of what would be his future at Spurs and thus decided that the time to move on had arrived.

There's also the fact that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy and AVB may already have Caulker's replacement lined up. Steaua Bucharest defender Vlad Chiriches, who can play in central defense or out on the wing, is set to join Spurs, according to the player's agent. There are, however, reports out there that the deal has been killed off.

Summertime is often cruel on the nerves of the Tottenham faithful. Never before has that been more true, as new rumors regarding the future of Welsh wonder and Spurs hero Gareth Bale have been coming out on a daily basis since even before July 1. Those who immediately assume the worst with any deal Tottenham make between now and September would do well to remember that a manager who guided his team to a club record 72 points last season is now working with his chairman to assemble his desired squad. They've earned the trust of supporters.

For now.

Zac has been covering the USMNT, Holland, Tottenham Hotspur, New York Red Bulls, Major League Soccer and other soccer leagues for Yahoo! Sports since 2010.

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